Wells
Cheddar Gorge & Caves
Somerset  BS27 3QF
 
 
 
In the Mendip Hills of Somerset, close to Cheddar Village, is the famous Cheddar Gorge. It is the largest gorge in the United Kingdom and is the site of the beautiful Cheddar Caves famous for their spectacular rock formations.
 
The impressive Gorge has fascinated visitors for centuries. As the Gorge wanders down from the top of the Mendip Hills it increases in majesty as it nears the village. This is a place of wild and rugged beauty.
 
The most famous caves are ‘Cox’s and Gough’s:
- Cox’s cave is small, winding and brilliantly coloured with fantastic calcite sculptures and reflection pools;
- Gough’s cave (named after Richard Gough who discovered it in 1890) is said to be the finest and deepest cave in Britain. It has beautifully illuminated stalactites and stalagmites and leads to Diamond Chamber and Solomon’s Temple.
 
Cliff Top Walk can be rough - Care required near Cliff Edges
A path with 274 steps has been cut into the side of the Gorge giving access to the top of the cliffs. The path is known as Jacob’s Ladder. There is an entry fee to the caves and to ascend Jacob’s Ladder – the descent being free!
 
From the top, there is a two hour, three mile (4.8 Km) walk around the Gorge, climbing to 400ft (137 metres) above the road. It can be a rough, rocky and muddy walk so wear good quality hiking clothes and boots and take care on cliff edges!
 
Caves home to Man for 13,000 years
Gough's cave was home to primitive man 13,000 years ago and it was here that a 9,000 year old complete human skeleton was found. Nicknamed ‘Cheddar Man’, the skeleton is the centerpiece of an above ground display explaining Stone Age life. Audio guides for both adults and children tell the story of the Cave and of its re-discovery by Richard Gough.
 
Walks
There are numerous sign posted paths and trails beginning in the Gorge. By climbing to the top of the cliffs (using ‘Jacobs Ladder’) the visitor can obtain spectacular views of the surrounding countryside and Bristol Channel, especially from the Lookout Tower.
 
Cheddar Gorge is within walking distance of Cheddar Village centre, however an open-top bus tour operates daily during April to September and on weekends during March and October. Obtain information on this bus from the Information Offices in the village.
 
Gift Shops, Coffee Shops and Restaurants
Visitors will find many things of interest when walking in the Gorge – underneath the cliffs are numerous small gift shops, craft workshops and small restaurants where one may have a cup of coffee or a full meal served in a family atmosphere. Lots of attractions are suitable for the children including a model railway exhibition, model car racing and crazy golf.
 
Plan Your Visit
Accommodation - Search & Book through Hotels.com here:    External Link
 
Disabled Access & Children's Safety
The Cheddar Gorge & Caves own website has an excellent article on Accessibility and also on Children's Safety. This is a must read for mobility impared visitors and for parents. The applicable advice is at Web: Cheddar Gorge & Caves/ Safety & Accessibility    External Link
 
Admission costs
Entrance to the Gorge and Caves, the bus tour and most of the attractions except rock sports is covered by the purchase of the Cheddar Caves and Gorge Explorer ticket.

For costs and family discounts go to Web: Cheddar Gorge & Caves/ Visiting Dates, Times & Costs    External Link
 
Contact & Further Information
Telephone   +44 (0)1934 742 343
Website   Cheddar Gorge & Caves    External Link
 
Garden of Fragrance
On returning to Cheddar Village the visitor will pass the lake and waterfall. A path beside the River Yeo leads to the Garden of Fragrance created especially for the blind. Cheddar Gorge and its environs are a complete tourist attraction and very popular.
 
Accommodation
There are numerous Bed and Breakfast establishments actually in Cheddar Village and there is a Camping & Caravanning site at nearby Axbridge on the A371 (Axbridge By-pass).
 
Getting There
The Cheddar Gorge website has an excellent map of southern England with main road routes marked. There is also detailed instructions for travel by car, train, bus, hire car and taxi as well as by bicycle. We recommend visitors make use of this resource  Web:  Cheddar Gorge/ 'How to Find us'    External Link
 
Google Maps - Cheddar Gorge and Caves